Summary: Emma finds out about Granny and Ruby's family | Rumplestiltskin swears he will have vengance.
Characters: Emma Swan, Sinuhe|Dr. He, Nixie|May Noapte, Fairy Godmother, Blue Fairy, River Demon, Midas, Rumplestiltskin|Mr. Gold, Granny|Granny, Red Riding Hood|Ruby, Romulus|Thomas Kaiser, Prince Charming|David Nolan,
Disclaimer: I own none of the canon characters. Jewish folklore owns the River Demon. Ancient Egypt owns Sinuhe. Classical Greece owns Arachne.
References to: Odin (Norse), the Hero Twins (Mayan),
Tense as things with the River Demons were at the moment, Nixie took the time to stand on the river's bend when Sinuhe stood on it's shore and asked what lived in this water.
Whiter than chalk, whiter than limestone plaster, Nixie stood and replied calmly, "You are yelling."
"My family is gone. My homeland is gone," Sinuhe said. "They have all been destroyed. Nothing beside remains!"
"Your daughter is still alive, so why not find her?"
"She went with her Fairy Godmother. A child's request should not be considered a binding agreement."
"Anything which can speak, can make a bargain. I have seen simpletons become kings, men become beasts, and stones weep. Did your daughter tell you the terms of her deal with she who became her Fairy Godmother?"
Sinuhe bowed his head in shame. "My daughter heard me speak of the land of my birth, and a fairy heard her plea that I be able to return there."
Nixie looked down at her water lapping at her toes. To Sinuhe, she said, "Her Fairy Godmother will be destroyed by your son, Sinuhe."
Now his head was not bowed. "Did you not hear, river creature? My family is dead, turned to salt and dust," Sinuhe said.
"One family. Your first family," Nixie said. "You will take a new wife and make a new family. Your son will repay your debt to me - but he will not be an offering to me."
"And where will I find this wife-to-be?"
Not I. "I will not provide all the answers," and she sank back beneath the river surface.
Sinuhe left and resumed his wandering. In time, he came upon a woman who became his wife.
Their firstborn, they bestowed upon him the name Rumplestiltskin, son of Sinuhe and Arachne.
Emma was having a light snack in Granny’s Café (adjacent to Granny’s Bed&Breakfast, but not subject to the same rules about ex-criminals), and looking over those of the sanitarium’s files which were cleared to be carried outside of its thick walls.
As Emma had another bite of the pocket cake…
“Oh please,” Ruby said to Granny. “It’s not like you don’t have one.”
“My tattoo was inked when I was younger than you,” Granny said. “That’s why I don’t want you getting one.”
“Oh right, the voice of experience. At least when I get mine, it won’t be a stupid -”
“True, yours would have less thought put into it,” Granny said.
“You’re impossible,” Ruby said. Squaring off, “Fine, I won’t get a tattoo if you tell me who my grandfather is.”
To Emma’s eyes, Granny looked pained. “Only one ink, Ruby.”
Ruby rolled her eyes. “You’d rather I get a tattoo, than learn where I came from?” and stormed out of the café.
Granny sighed and - noticing Emma was still at a table - came over. “I’m sorry you had to see that, dear. Can I get you a refil?”
“I’m good,” Emma said, for a varying meaning of ‘good.’ “And you’ve got nothing to apologize for.”
Granny didn’t look like she was buying it.
“I’m serious, I’ve seen family arguments get a lot more heated than that.”
“Those poor dears.”
Emma gave an empty nod. As the café was empty, “If you don’t mind my asking, why don’t you want Ruby to meet her grandfather?” The guy can’t be worse than some of the people I’ve seen hanging around Ruby.
“She would want to meet him. That’s not terrible,” Granny said. “But then Ruby would want to meet her father.”
“Not your favorite person,” Emma said, making an educated guess. “Lazy son-in-law?” having seen that a time or two.
“My daughter-in-law died in an accident… The ambulance was hit, and she gave birth to Ruby then and there. And died.”
“I‘m sorry. Where was the father?”
“Driving me and his father to the hospital.” He made sure the other driver was ruined.
“I’m sorry,” Emma said again, just as honest now as then.
“Not your fault, dear; but thank you. So, can I get you a refill?”
Rumplestiltskin held his wife’s hand, heedless of the mud and puddles and rivulets and all the other waters and dampnesses left behind after the land had so rudely and savagely been flooded for a day, rolling everyone like careening wheels.
“It’s a girl,” his mother said, down at the birth canal. At the same moment, Rumplestiltskin’s wife died.
After a desolate-minded minute, “Is she healthy, the baby?” Rumplestiltskin asked.
The baby began to cry.
“You have a healthy daughter,” his mother Arachne said.
“A fine child,” Sinuhe his father said.
“One the two of you will have to raise,” Rumplestiltskin said. “If I take her, she’ll only know revenge. I want better than that for her,” he said, setting his wife’s hand gently upon her breast.
As her son slowly stood up, Arachne asked him, “Do you have a name for your daughter, at least?”
Rumplestiltskin looked at the babe and remarked, “She’s certainly red.” He said nothing more - just said goodbye with his facial expression to both his parents - and then he walked away.
“Red,” Arachne said, looking at the infant, who cooed at her.
“I do believe she likes that name, Granny,” Sinuhe said affectionately.
As do I.” And that marked when Arachne Gol would henceforth be known as Granny.
Emma was driving along, when she saw Ruby walking. Alone.
Pulling alongside, “Can I give you a ride?” Emma asked her.
“You don’t even know to where,” Ruby said.
Emma shrugged. “Don’t really care.” Find that out later.
So Ruby got in the car, and Emma drove a while down the direction Ruby had been walking, before Emma said, “In foster care, sometimes you get good grandmothers, other times you get a real wicked witch,” and plllease don’t tell Henry I used that expression.
“So I should be thankful for the one I got?” Ruby asked.
“I never said that.”
“Then what’re you saying?”
“Could be better, also could be worse.”
“Yeah,” Ruby granted could be true.
“So, where’m I dropping you off?”
“Construction site two blocks up.”
That’s where Kaiser works, Emma thought. “Can I ask what you’re going -”
“I got a temp job,” Ruby said. “Secretarial work. But Mr. Kaiser builds and repairs in the more dangerous neighborhoods, which my Granny doesn’t always like.”
“Sounds like some of my grannies too,” Emma said.
She knew he would be arriving.
When Rumplestiltskin arrived at the millpond, the Nixie was already standing atop the water. “Hello, Rumplestiltskin,” Nixie said. “Yes, I know why you are here. Yes, I know the cause of the flood which took your wife’s life.”
“And what was the cause?”
The miller swore I would get his son as payment. But by the time the boy came near enough to my waters, he was already a man, apprenticed to a huntsman and affianced to a woman. “A fairy helped a woman take from me someone which was mine - the theft caused that flooding.” Fairies so rarely care about the side effects of their magic.
“So you were involved?” Rumplestiltskin asked.
“On two levels, yes,” said the Nixie of the millpond. Though now that the flood has ended, the fianced man and woman will spend years separated and unaware if the other has survived. One counts as revenge even things which do not have one’s finger involving them in.
“Then I shall avenge upon both you and the fairy,” Rumplestiltskin swore.
“That would be ill-advised.”
"I will kill you. I will hold your head aloft, and the blood will enrich the ground," Rumplestiltskin vowed.
"I have have enough of the power of foresight to avoid any attempt you may make to kill me," Nixie remarked.
"I don't expect you to tell me how I can get greater foresight than you possess."
"I will, actually. Find someone more powerful."
Rumplestiltskin looked at her, his head tilted in puzzlement. "Why would you tell me that? Why are you helping?"
"Because all magic comes at a cost."
"I will pay it."
"Come back when you do. If you can."
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked.
"The exact price depends upon whom you ask - but the typical asking price is crucifixion." Or death.
And Rumplestiltskin left her, his heart burning with a desire to take fiery vengeance. And he found one who was suitably powerful, and he made his deal.